Our sense of smell was essential to our survival when we had to hunt and gather however; the threats we face today exist in a very different guise. The digital environment we populate is all consuming and the line between reality and virtual reality is becoming blurred. With this in mind, Smell of Data was created to alert its users of data leaks from their smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The device releases a metallic smell when it detects an unprotected website or an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. This concept evolved from the addition of scent to undetectable gases to prevent gas explosions. The belief of designer Leanne Wijnsma and filmmaker Froukje Tan, who collaborated to create this project, is that we have an inherent understanding of how to deal with detectable dangers.
The transparent dispenser with its visible hardware is an early prototype. This is being developed and the team are exploring the idea of creating a “wearable” device to increase the usefulness. Protecting our online content is an everyday concern. This project represents an innovative idea that provides a way to reclaim control of who has access to our lives online.